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National Gypsum answers its critics--finally

Michael Foreman and I (as members of the ASTM committee investigating Chinese drywall) have been calling on the domestic gypsum industry to stand up, and present information on what it knows about the Chinese drywall mess. Sadly, the official position of the industry trade association has been to acknowledge that there is a problem with Chinese board, and that the domestic manufacturers are not involved—period.

I have tried in vain to convince association management that this stance is not good enough. When the only news about a product is uniformly bad, there is going to be blowback to the domestic industry—regardless of the facts. As it happens, I was right.

National Gypsum, unique in the domestic industry, has finally launched an extremely helpful and informative website, discussing the tainted and corrosive drywall matter in detail.

Of course, they were forced to do this since they found themselves the subject of a class action lawsuit. It is clear that the allegations against National are completely groundless, and I wish them all good luck.

They should be warned that science doesn't always win litigation, and proactive PR a few years ago could have done wonders. Still...better late than never.

Craig D. Weisbruch—National Gypsum's Sr. Vice President, Sales and Marketing—is to be commended.



Mr. Shaw,

You have made a very strong comment ???

"It is clear that the allegations against National are completely groundless ..."

Please share you facts, validating this statement, as I'm sure, I am not the only interested party ...

Based on my limited gypsum manufacturing knowledge, "batch numbers" and the number of sheets per batch, make only one or two affected structures, per batch, virtually impossible ...

Based on a standard house or condo, 100 +/- boards installed, with as little as 10,000 sheets per batch = 100 structures, potentially affected ...

Based on 50,000 sheets per batch = 500 structures, potentially affected ...

Per average batch, how many sheets, has Mr. Craig D. Weisbruch admitted, are normally produced ???

Michael S. Foreman
Foreman and Associates, Inc.
Forensic Construction Consultants

Michael Shaw

Mr. Foreman--

I was referring primarily to the Brincku house matter. Nat Gyp's comments are as follows:


Science Proves Florida Claims False

On January 12, 2010, an attempted class action lawsuit was filed against National Gypsum, with George and Brenda Brincku as the lead plaintiffs. The suit alleges that the National Gypsum drywall in their home emits high levels of sulfur or sulfide gases, creating the same issues associated with defective Chinese drywall.

National Gypsum collected drywall samples from every single room in the Brincku home. The company asked Columbia Analytical Services and Packer Engineering, two independent, nationally respected engineering and scientific testing firms, to test the drywall samples from the Brincku home. Elemental sulfur was not detected in any of the sample tests, and none off-gassed hydrogen sulfide – the compound that causes corrosion and the rotten-egg odor found in defective Chinese drywall.

Specifically, the tests revealed the following conclusions:

* There are at least four different brands of drywall in the Brincku home.

* None of the tested drywall samples showed detectable levels of any elemental sulfur or off-gassing of hydrogen sulfide.

* During accelerated aging tests, also known as the "jar tests" – where a drywall sample is placed in a jar with a clean copper "coupon" and exposed to heat and humidity – National Gypsum drywall caused none of the blackening or corrosion found with defective Chinese drywall.

* An examination of the Brincku attic, where the use of National Gypsum drywall could be easily seen and confirmed, showed absolutely no corrosion of the exposed copper wiring.

At a November 2009 Florida Department of Health symposium, scientists reported that the "marker" for defective, corrosive wallboard is elemental sulfur. In other words, no elemental sulfur detected means no damaging hydrogen sulfide, no rotten-egg smell and no corrosion.

In every test conducted, no elemental sulfur was detected in any of the Brincku drywall samples.


I do not have information regarding any other homes in the class action lawsuit. Bear in mind that the Brincku's home was the most high profile residence, and it certainly appears from the above that their problems were not caused by Nat Gyp drywall.

Weisbruch told me that he thinks their problems are related to water, but this has not yet been proven.

What is clear is that the plaintiff's attorneys just went after the easiest defendant. However, as they are now discovering, it's not quite as much fun when the rabbit shoots back.

I understand that Weisbruch wants to speak with you, and he would likely be pleased to answer all of your questions.

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